10 Important Facts about Spike Lee.

Spike Lee is best known for his powerful and often controversial film work, with films that cross genres, target hot social and political topics, and get plenty of people talking. Despite receiving multiple nominations throughout the years, it was not until 2019 that he finally won his first Academy Award for his latest film, BlacKkKlansman.  What else do you know–or not know–about this legendary actor, writer and director? Let’s take a look at 10 important facts about Spike Lee.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chadwick Boseman

If you haven’t yet seen a clip–or screenshot, or one of the endless memes it spawned–of Chadwick Boseman’s viral reaction to Green Book winning Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Award Show, then all you need to do is Google his name and you’re sure to see a slew of reactions to one of the most viral moments of the night. Boseman’s side-eye to fellow Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan wasn’t quite on par with Spike Lee literally turning his back to the stage, but it definitely inspired its share of tweets and gifs that had everyone buzzing.

Yet there’s much more to this film and television star than a viral reaction to one of Hollywood’s most important red carpet nights. Here’s 5 facts that will tell you everything that you need to know about Chadwick Boseman, one of Hollywood’s hottest actors.

He has played two iconic African-American stars

Boseman may be more popular today for playing the titular Black Panther character in the Marvel cinematic universe, but his earliest claims to fame come in two roles where he took on portraying two iconic African-American stars: Jackie Robinson and James Brown. Boseman starred as Jackie Robinson in ’42,’ and played James Brown in ‘Get On Up.’ His performances in both of these films were critically praised.

His earliest work was on television

Before he became a critically acclaimed film star, Boseman found himself on the smaller screen. Starting in the mid-2000s, Boseman appeared on shows such as All My Children, ER, Lie to Me, Cold Case, CSI: NY and Third Watch. In 2008, he was cast in Lincoln Heights on ABC Family, which was his first major reoccurring role.

He has an educational background in acting, directing and theater

After graduating from high school, Boseman attended Howard University in Washington D.C. It was at Howard University that he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. Following his Bachelor’s Degree, he went to the British American Drama Academy in England to continue his studies. During his time in school, Boseman regularly performed on the theatrical stage, including roles in productions of Zooman, Romeo and Juliet, Bootleg Blues, and more.

He’s a writer, too

Boseman doesn’t just act in front of the cameras: he has experience behind the scenes, too. His first screenplay, Crossroads, was inspired by a real life tragedy: the murder of a teammate on his college-level basketball team. He felt inspired to write the film after the tragic events inspired him to listen to a calling to write. “Suddenly,” Boseman said, “playing basketball wasn’t as important.”

His role in Black Panther inspired him to trace his ancestry

After being cast as T’Challa in Black Panther, Boseman decided that he wanted to find out more about his African ancestry. He used a special website (AfricanAncestry.com) which helps people discover their heritage, with a special focus on African-Americans who are interested in finding out where their ancestors came from. The site found that he has ties to the following African ethnic groups: Limba and Mende from Sierra Leone, Jola from Guinea-Bissau, and Yoruba from Nigeria.

Now that you know more about this famous actor… what do you think? Comment below and share to see what your friends think!

10 Interesting Facts About Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short on February 26th, 2012, when he was shot by George Zimmerman while walking back home in Sanford, Florida. The resulting media storm, controversy and trial have long overshadowed Martin’s short life. Who was Trayvon Martin? The following are 10 interest things about the unarmed teenager whose life–but not legacy–was ended in 2012.

He wanted to pursue a career in aviation

 Trayvon was interested in pursuing aviation as a potential career; in 2009, he enrolled in the Experience Aviation program, a local program designed to allow teenagers to experience what it would be like to have a career in aviation, and from there his interest in aviation as a career grew. He attended classes at the George T. Baker Aviation School as well. His parents said he had plans to attend University of Miami or Florida A&M University after high school.

He liked outdoor athletics

Travyon’s parents were dedicated to letting him experience as many activities as possible, so he was able to join in on many types of outdoor athletics, including horseback riding and skiing.

He had no criminal record

Despite some media reports to the contrary, Trayvon had no criminal record at the time of his death. He had–like many teens–been suspended from school on a few occasions.

 His older brother was a member of the Role Models for Excellence Project

Travyon’s brother, Jahavaris, was a member of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. The project, founded 20 years ago by Florida Representative Frederica Wilson, is a mentoring program designed to address the concerns and needs of at-risk boys in the Miami-Dade school district.

He once saved his father’s life

When Trayvon was only 9 years old, he saved his father’s life during a fire at their apartment. Their apartment had caught fire and his father became unable to move due to burns on his legs. 9 year-old Trayvon pulled his father out of the apartment and saved his life.

He volunteered at the park

During his teen years, Trayvon was a volunteer at local Forzano Park, where he worked at a concessions stand.

He liked to build and repair bikes

Martin was highly skilled at building, repairing and riding various types of dirt bikes and pocket bikes. His cousin, Stephen Martin, recalled that Trayvon also excelled at riding bikes and knew how to repair even bikes that some professional repairman probably wouldn’t touch.

A foundation has been set up in his honor

In 2012, the Trayvon Martin Foundation was established in his honor. The foundation was started by his parents, whose goal with the foundation is to contribute to the end of gun violence.

He was born on February 2nd, 1995

Trayvon was born in Miami Florida on February 2nd, 1995, to father Tracy Martin and mother Sybrina Fulton.

2019 Oscars Make History with 7 Black Winners

The Academy Awards are the biggest award show in the film and television industry–but historically, the Oscars have not been the place to celebrate the empowerment of people of color, especially black actors, directors, writers, and other roles within the entertainment industry. In fact, of the 3,072 Academy Awards given out since 1929, only 45–yes, you read that right, just 45–of them have gone to black winners. Seven of those 45 black winners won their awards at the 2019 Oscars, making it a monumental and historic night that was celebrated as one of the most diverse Oscar nights in decades.

7 Winners–One Night

It’s (very) tempting to spend pages talking about how these 7 winners represent only a fraction of the thousands of actors, directors, writers, designers and other black people working in the entertainment industry who have gone unawarded or even unrecognized over the years; and it’s very (very) tempting to begin delving into the systematic issues that have held down people of color in the Hollywood entertainment complex since the 1920s.

But for right this moment, let’s just take a minute to celebrate the amazing talented people who made the 2019 Oscars a night to remember forever.

The seven black men and women recognized for outstanding achievements by the Academy in 2019 were:

  • Ruth E. Carter, for Costume Design
  • Hannah Beachler, for Production Design
  • Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott for Adapted Screenplay
  • Regina King, for Best Supporting Actress
  • Mahershala Ali, for Best Supporting Actor
  • Peter Ramsey, for Best Animated Feature

Carter, Beachler and Ramsey were the first black winners in their category in the history of the award, making their wins even more historic, if that’s possible, in a night that broke records for men and women of color in Hollywood.

Towards the Future

Okay–with that celebration out of the way, we will talk a bit about the systematic bias in Hollywood, particularly when it comes to awards for black men and women. It is no secret that black actors, actresses, directors, writers, costume designers, production designers, etc, are at a disadvantage when it comes to securing jobs and being recognized for their work by the Academy. It was only a few decades ago that actress Hattie McDaniel, who won a role as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind, had to sit at a segregated table in the back of the ceremony–and that was only after actor Clark Gable threatened to boycott the Oscars unless McDaniel was allowed to enter the building, which was at the time for “whites only.”

But, gradually–and with greater force every year–things are changing. More black nominees are being recognized for their work every year, and as the 2019 Oscars proves, there’s room for more than one–or two, or three, or six–black winners on the vaulted red carpet of the Oscars.

What are your thoughts about this year’s winners? Do you think Hollywood will begin to recognize black actors, directors, writers and others who work in Hollywood more frequently? Comment below with your thoughts and then share with friends to see what they think!

Daniel Radcliffe is ‘Sure’ That ‘Harry Potter’ will be Rebooted

In a critically acclaimed movie franchise based on a series that started as a children’s book by author J.K Rowling, Harry Potter swept millions of Potterheads across the globe off their feet. The books, along with the film franchise, became so big that it earned a place in several Universal Studios theme parks including those in Orlando, Florida and Tokyo, Japan.

Possibly due to the franchise’s immense popularity that Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular role, thought that a reboot is imminent. In an interview with IGN, the actor revealed that he is ‘sure’ that the films will return to the big screen or will debut in television what with the same cases happening with huge films and shows.

A Series of Spin-Offs

The star doesn’t dismiss the possibility of another actor playing the role. After all, a few other performers have portrayed the role in the Broadway spin-off, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, also written by Rowling. Asidefrom the stage play, a prequel series set in the same world as the original ones arecurrently on-going. The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Get Themfilms have been keeping the flame alive. In fact, a third Fantastic Beast movie is reportedly in the works.

Other official iterations of the franchise include Pottermore (a website dedicated to expanding the Wizarding World) and widevariety ofmerchandise. Meanwhile, a lot of Potter-themed establishments (cafes, pubs, restaurants), plays (A Very Potter Musical) and web shows (Potter Puppet Pals) have also been popular with fans.

The Potter Fame

Fans who grew up waiting for Harry Potter book releases and later on, film releases, know howrapid the franchise grew. After all, the books wouldn’t be adapted into movies if it didn’t gain enough traction. As the lead star along with Rupert Grint (who played Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (who played Hermione Granger), Radcliffe knows this all too well.

With the attention and recognition he was garnering, the actor admitted that his Potter fame left him resorting to alcohol. However, this only caught more interest, leading to him drinking more. Fortunately enough, Radcliffe was able to manage his fame and work.

On Other Projects

In addition to his role in Rowling’s works, Radcliffe has also been busy with other projects. He has played in movies including Horns andSwiss Army Manas well as in Broadway plays such as The Lifespan of a Fact. One of his newest works is the television series, Miracle Workers.

Meanwhile, sources say that Radcliffe is not open to performing as Harry ‘anytime soon’ in light of reports that a film adaptation of CursedChildis allegedly in the works.

The sustained fame of the original film franchise left a lot of Potterheads speculating a reboot of these beloved movies. With Radcliffe’s optimistic statement, it seems that the question is no longer ‘if,’ but ‘when.’

Fans of Radcliffe can watch some of his works such as A Young Doctor’s Notebook and Other Storieson Netflix.

Diet Drinks Linked to Stroke and Heart Attack

If you’re one of those people who prefer to drink Diet Coke because you think it’s the ‘healthier’ alternative, you’re actually signing up for a possible early death.

According to a new study, drinking two or more diet sodas a day can increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Experts and scientists warned the public to limit the consumption of these drinks. The new data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Studyfound out that the risk of early death caused by heart disease and stroke is 16 percent higher for those who drink diet sodas, compared to people who don’t.

The lead author of the study, DrYasmin Mossavar-Rahmani told CNN in an interview that those who are obese or overweight might opt for low-calorie drinks as they believe these help cut their calorie intake.

“Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease,” said Rahmani.

The study is based on long-runningresearch on the health of post-menstrual women ages 50 to 79. It comes from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the health of participants was monitored for about 12 years.

What the research used to measure one diet drink is a 12oz can, which is slightly larger compared to the UK standard can size of 330ml. From the more than 80,000 participants, only 5.1 percent consumed more than two artificially sweetened drinks a day. These women are mostly obese and exercise less compared to the 64.1 percent who never consumed diet colas and sodas.

Decline of health after menstruation

Women experience a lot of changes in their bodies beginning from adolescence up until the postmenopausalperiod. The thing about getting older is, people experience a declinein their health, as age affects the body’ssystems. Now, women inparticular, develop a lot of problems as their bodies have a lowerlevel of estrogen. Cholesterol tendsto go high, bone health starts to decline and even the brain is affected.

Given this, women are more prone to osteoporosis, breast cancer, osteoarthritis, sclerosis, bowel conditions and of course, cardiovascular diseases.

It is during the post-menstrual period that women should be extra careful when it comes to their health and consumption of diet drinks is one of them. Anything that’s made with artificial chemicals can take a toll on the body because there are a lot of harmful processes involved in the manufacturing of these products.

The regular Coke forinstance, contains more than 10 tablespoons of sugar made from high fructose of corn syrup, which is above the recommended consumption of only six tablespoons according to the World Health Organization. Now, the difference between regular Coke and  Diet Coke is, the latter is made from artificial sweeteners. Although it has lesser calories,artificialsweetener such as aspartame can cause blood-related cancers, heart diseases andstroke.

Aaron Paul to Star in ‘Breaking Bad’ Movie Sequel

The “Breaking Bad” movie reportedly been greenlit, with Aaron Paulas its main co-star.

Fans of the hit series, whose movie version remained shrouded in secrecy, now have some light on the fate of the proposed film. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that America’s beloved meth drama will be streamed via Netflix, the streaming giant that introduced the series to a worldwide audience, and AMC, the TV network that originally aired the show.

“Breaking Bad” is an Emmy-winning series, top-billed by Bryan Cranstonas a chemistry teacher and meth kingpin Walter H. White. Paul co-stars as Jesse Pinkman, his former student and crime partner. The Emmy-winning series initially aired on AMC from 2008 to 2013.

While the details of the movie are still blurry as of this moment, there are rumors circulating that the film will focus on the Pinkman character as well as the story after the events of the series. Reports say that Vince Gilligan, the creator of the series, has finished the new script and is set to direct the film. In the initial logline of the film, Gilligan mentioned “the escape of a kidnapped man” and his journey toward freedom, which would give a hint of Pinkman’s struggle to break free at the end of the series.

Cranston, who bagged four Emmys for his performance in this show, has confirmed that a Breaking Bad movie is in the works. However, he said that he is not aware of the details and he has not yet received the script.

In November 2018, The Albuquerque Journal reported that a “Breaking Bad” movie was set for filming under the name Greenbrier. According to the report, the New Mexico Film Office announced that “Greenbrier,” would start production in the Duke City from November last year through early February. This film is the first project of Gilligan after signing a three-year contract with Sony Pictures Television in 2018.

Almost all of the scenes in the multi-award-winning show were set and filmed in Albuquerque.

Apart from Cranston and Paul, the Revenge of the Fans website also released the film’s full cast, including Jesse Plemons (Todd), Jonathan Banks (Mike), Matt Jones (Badger), Charles Baker (Skinny Pete), Robert Forster (Ed, aka The Disappearer), Krysten Ritter (Jane), Tess Harper (Mrs. Pinkman), and Kevin Rankin (Kenny).

The series is about the story of White, a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has lung cancer at the start of the series.  He then turns to become a criminal, producing and selling methamphetamine with Pinkman, to secure his family’s financial future before his death.

Viewers and critics lauded the show. The American Film Institute listed it as one of the top ten television series in almost all its entire run. In 2013, TV Guide listed the show as the ninth greatest TV series of all time. Rolling Stone placed it on the third spot on its list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time three years after the series ended.

Chadwick Boseman to Star in Spike Lee’s ‘Da 5 Bloods’

T’Challa of Black Panther is set to play his newest role in Spike Lee’s newest film, Da 5 Bloods.In an exclusive report, the Variety revealed that Chadwick Boseman is in talks with Lee to star for this project. The actor will star alongside Delroy Lindo (of Malcolm Xfame) and Jean Reno (of Leon: The Professionalfame).

The film is based on an original screenplay by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo (who both wrote for the TV series, The Sentinel), with a rewrite by MatthewBillingsly.Lee is set to write the film along with Kevin Willmott (who wrote BlacKkKlansman).

Return to the Jungle

The upcoming drama will tell the story of Vietnam War veterans who decided to revisit the jungle to regain the innocence they lost. A tragic series of battle, veterans look back on this war with much horror, especially with the various offencestrategies implemented by both sides. The Vietnam War led to the death of 58,200 American soldiers with 300,000 wounded. Meanwhile, Vietnam suffered around 200,000 to 450,000 civilian deaths, over 1 million soldier deaths and over 1 million wounded. With such a background, it will certainly be interesting to watch the Black Panther star play a role as a former soldier with a horror-laden history.

Another Netflix Piece

It looks like the video streaming giant will be adding another successful work into its library. Known for its hit and miss releases, Netflix is home to popular films such as Birdboxand Roma, as well as award-winning projects including Mudblood. The streaming company is in talks with the production team for distribution rights, making it a potential addition for casual streamers and film enthusiasts alike.

Future Oscar Nominations?

Best known for his role as T’Challa in Black Panther, Boseman has had outstanding success in various award-giving ceremonies. For his role in the Marvel film, he won as Best Actor and Outstanding Actor in the BET Awards and Black Reel Awards, respectively. He was also nominated for his roles in 42, Marshall andGet on Up.

Whilst Boseman is known for his leading role in the Marvel Universe,Director Lee has experienced tremendous success especially in one of his most recent films, BlacKkKlansman. The 2018 movie garnered 6 nominations and one win at this year’s Academy Awards. This includes a win for Best Adapted Screenplay and nods for the Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Original Music Score.

With such successes behinds its filmmakers, who’s to say that Da 5 Bloodswill not be gathering major awards in the next Oscar season?

Aside from Boseman, Lindo and Reno, reports say that the filmmakers are negotiating with actor Jonathan Majors (of Lovecraft Country fame).Da 5 Bloodsis still in pre-production and will be produced by Lee, Beatriz & Lloyd Levin and John Kilik.

A definitive release date is yet to be announced, so keep your eyes peeled and watch out for the trailer of Boseman-Lee team-up.

Keenan Thompson to Executive Produce ‘All That’ Reboot

The kids and teens of the 90’s will surely revel in nostalgia as the iconic Nickelodeon show “All That” will get a reboot. Kenan Thompson will lead the kid’s and teen’s show that hit the airwaves from 1994-2005. Thompson, a famous alumnus of the show, is currently a star on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins said the reboot would include a mix of new sketches inspired by the old. Robbins said the network wants to bring the show back in an entertaining way.

The definite date on when the reboot will start is still unknown, however, Robbins hinted that it would probably be in summer.

The sketch comedy series tagged as the SNL for the younger audience features original short comedic sketches and weekly musical guests aimed toward kids and teens. This show was co-created by Robbins and Mike Rollin, who both served as executive producers during the show’s entire run. The popular series became an avenue to introduce Amanda Bynes, Jamie Spears (sister of Britney Spears), Kel Mitchell, and Nick Cannon to stardom.

Its comedic acts became inspirations of many spin-off shows such as “Drake & Josh,” “The Amanda Show,” “Zoey 101,” “The Nick Cannon Show,” and “Kenan & Kel,” which was co-starred by Thompson. “Good Burger,” a sketch from the show became so popular it inspired the 1997 film, with the same title, which earned $23.7 million.

The show was initially taped at the Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and later moved to Hollywood at the Nickelodeon on Sunset theatre, where other Nick shows such as Kenan & Kel, Drake & Josh, The Amanda Show, were filmed.

Because of the show’s success, many pop singers in the era guest-starred on the show, including TLC (who also sang the show’s theme song), Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Britney Spears, the British pop sensation Spice Girls, M2M, Celine Dion, and Mandy Moore.

Robbins believes that the show offers an excellent opportunity to discover the next pool of stars just like in its original run.

Cashing in on 90s Nostalgia

The “All That” reboot is part of Nickelodeon’s push to take advantage of the ’90s nostalgia. The station earlier announced the returns of “Legends of the Hidden Temple” and “Hey Arnold’ (which is set for a Netflix reboot). In November last year, Mitchell and Thompson also reunited for a “Double Dare” episode. The horror series “Are You Afraid of the Dark” also gets a reboot starting in October 2019 while “Rugrats” will also return as an animated series and as a live-action movie slated for release in November 2020. Thompson also said a “Good Burger” sequel is also in the talks.

Robbins advised that they are creating shows for kids today who belong to different cultures, family-focused, and are in control of their choices for entertainment across different platforms. He added that Nickelodeon has a laser focus on the present kids, their behavior in terms of consuming content, and what they want. With inputs from its research, the TV network is producing a wider variety of shows and series for today’s children and youth.

Hulu Announces Cast for Wu-Tang Drama Series

The streaming company Hulu announced it will air the Wu-Tang: An American Saga series. The ten-episode drama series is based on the history of the beloved hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan, who rose to stardom in the 90s. The legendary hip-hop group has released five gold and platinum studio albums, making it one of the all-time most influential groups in the genre.

Hulu has just revealed the cast for the series, whose air date has yet to be announced. It top bills Ashton Sanders, who played in the Academy-Award winning film “Moonlight,” as RZA, the group’s de facto leader. Shameik Moore of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Marcus Callender of Power; and Erika Alexander of “Get Out” will also co-star in the series.

RZA expressed his excitement for the group’s partnership with Hulu and Imagine Television. The “clan’s” leader added that their music has always aimed to inspire while entertaining.

The series, set in New York during the early ’90s at the peak of the crack cocaine epidemic will reveal the history of the Clan’s formation. The group is a brainchild of Bobby Diggs, a.k.a. The RZA. He had a vision to bring together a dozen young, black men that were torn between their passion for music and criminal activities. The collection eventually became one of the unlikeliest of success stories in the U.S.

According to reports, the Wu-Tang Clan has sold 40 million albums worldwide. Its album “Wu-Tang Forever” released in 1997 dominated Billboard’s album charts and reached the No. 1 position. Many members of the group—such as Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Method Man—have enjoyed success in their solo careers. Another member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, has produced two Top 10 albums before his untimely death in 2004.

Created by Alex Tse–the “Superfly” remake writer–and The RZA, both of whom will also write and executive produce the series. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will also carry out the executive production task via Imagine Television together with Wu-Tang member Method Man. Other Wu-Tang members Ghostface Killa, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard will serve as the project’s consulting producers. James Seidman, a creative executive, will supervise the project for Imagine.

Showtime will also feature the group’s story in a four-part documentary, “Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men,” slated to debut later this year.

Other Hulu Projects

Apart from “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” Hulu is set to stream several original programs in the coming days. Its series “The Handmaid’s Tale” won Outstanding Drama Series in the Emmys in 2017. The streaming company has reaped success in the mainstream with some of its small-screen dramas like “Castle Rock” and “The Looming Tower.” Recently, it has also received its first Academy Award nomination for Minding the Gap, a documentary about three young men who banded together to escape their strained families in their Rust Belt hometown.

“Wu-Tang: An American Saga” will join Hulu’s roster of series, which include “Catch-22,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Ramy,” “Shrill,” and “The First.” The series will run along with the streamer’s acquired content such as Atlanta, Empire, and Power.